Get Organized Mission #14: Organize Your Household Notebook

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Household NotebookWelcome to Mission #14 of our 52 Get Organized Missions.

If your home is strewn with various lists, plans and contact info, then you’re gonna love this mission!

We’re about to create a ‘Household Notebook’ – a place for all those pieces of paper, ideas, and information.

Remember: you only need 30 minutes for the basic mission. Extended Options are below.

If you’re new, you might like to start here: 52 Organizing Missions.

Get Organized Mission #14:
Organize Your Household Notebook

Step 1: Assemble Your Materials

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3-ring binder (sturdier than a two-ring binder)
  • 3-ring hole punch
  • 12 tabbed dividers
  • Label maker (if you want to make labels for the dividers)
  • Paper for writing or printing lists
  • The Emergency Contact List you completed last week in Get Organized Mission #13: Organize Your Emergency Contacts [With Free Emergency Phone Contact List]

Step 2: Collect Your *Important* Information

Collect the random bits of paper currently residing in your bag or briefcase, on your fridge, and under the take-out menus in your kitchen drawer.

Sort them into lists, contact info, resources, reminders, ideas, etc – but only if worth keeping. The rest can go into the recycle bin.

Step 3: Choose Your Categories

Decide on the categories that apply to your life. Write them on the tabbed dividers or make labels.

Home & Family Household Notebook

Here are the categories I suggest for a Home & Family Household Notebook.

If you follow the links you’ll see titles of suggested Home & Family worksheets/forms that you might like to include in your Notebook.

If you’re an Ultimate To-Do List Pack | Home & Family Edition Customer or an Ultimate To-Do List Pack Member, you have more than 250 worksheets within these categories.

Personal Household Notebook

Here are the categories I suggest for a Personal Household Notebook.

If you follow the links you’ll see titles of suggested Personal worksheets/forms that you might like to include in your Notebook.

If you’re an Ultimate To-Do List Pack | Personal Edition Customer or an Ultimate To-Do List Pack Member, you have more than 250 worksheets within these categories.

Step 4: Insert Your Papers & Worksheets

Hole punch the papers you decided to keep in Step 2, and file them under the appropriate category.

Then click on the category links above to see the titles of additional lists and worksheets to include in your Household Notebook. You’ll find hundreds of ideas for popular and useful lists to stimulate your thinking.

You can go low-tech and simply hand-write a heading on a page, or create your own printable version in Word. Or use mine!

Remember to include your completed Emergency Contact List from Get Organized Mission #13: Organize Your Emergency Contacts. I suggest you put this right at the front or right at the back of the binder so you can locate it fast.

Step 5: Put Your Household Notebook Somewhere Handy

Place your Household Notebook in a neat spot by the phone, on a kitchen counter or someplace else you’ll be able to see and refer to it easily and often.

If it goes in a cupboard or on a bookshelf – it’s all but useless.

BONUS StepHousehold Notebook

If you like the look of the binder in the image for this post, you can download a cover and spine insert for your own Household Notebook. Download it by clicking the link below.

Congratulations – you now have a home-management system to help organize all your day-to-day life stuff!

Dos & Don’ts

  • Don’t feel that you have to organize everything in this 30 minutes. Just get your Household Notebook started, and you’ll have completed an extremely useful personal organization step. You can add to it over time.
  • Do make sure you find a good home for your binder. The usefulness of your Household Notebook is proportional to its ease of access.

Extended Organizing Mission Options

Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission?

  • Let the kids create their own Personal Notebooks. Give them each a binder and some tabbed dividers, and help them choose suitable categories for the bits and pieces they collect. It will keep their rooms tidier too!
  • Be ruthless with your paperwork. Take this opportunity to recycle anything you won’t reasonably be able to use or action in the near future.

Ready, Set, Go!

Remember – move quickly, act fast, don’t overthink.

Before You Go – Please Check In

Once you’ve completed this week’s Get Organized Mission please add a comment to let us know you’ve done your assignment and you’re keeping your commitment. To leave a comment: Scroll to the bottom of this post, where you’ll find a comment box waiting for you.

And see you back here next week!

Did You Know

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Click here to sign up for 52 Organizing Missions.

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Hi!
I’m re-twit you post: to my @juxamist twitter

Julia O'Connor says:

a work in progress .

Marla says:

I already have a household notebook (although my categories are different from your suggestions), and it was invaluable since I had it with me when our house burned down in 2007. Have added my newly updated list of emergency numbers, so this one is done!

ELENI says:

Thanks a million for this valuable information!

Theresa says:

Used this method but with folders and pockets. Love reaching for the subject and finding everything I need stored and organized by date. Done!

Lauren says:

I had completed this mission at my office months ago and it’s been working out great! I couldn’t consider it done until I did this at home too, and that was a major stumbling block for me. But now as of this morning it is done!

@MicheleConnolly Thanks for the #14 Organizing Tip! http://bit.ly/c59fTC

Crystal & Co says:

This is just an awesome tool. I am a mom of five BOYS and many days I struggle to keep life in order.

I am revisting a book I read almost ten years ago, and sharing the day by day encouragment that it gives with my blog readers- Simple Abundance, A Daybook of Comfort and Joy.

One of the big steps is getting your life in order to bring simplicity. This household book is a perfect way to bring order to my life. Some days I can not even get the laundry done… ok, most days.

I have referenced and linked your how to post on my blog so my readers can embrace this as well. The link to my blog post, if you are interested, is http://fourcrazychildren.blogspot.com/2010/01/sense-of-order-cultivating-contentment.html.

Thanks again!

Joey says:

Done and Done. Yay!

Silvia says:

I have it and I´ve prepared a special one for Christmas!

Belinda says:

Mission #14 completed.
I bought a folder at the end of last year and organised our paperwork. It includes personal information, bills, medical, school, insurance, tax, etc. Every family has different needs so you reallly need to sit down and work out what will work for you.